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King’s College School Wimbledon: a parents’ guide to Year 7 entry

School guide
King's College School Wimbledon: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry

King’s College School Wimbledon (often abbreviated to KCS) is an independent day school for boys aged 11–18 and girls aged 16–18, located on Wimbledon Common in South West London. The school’s own prep – King’s College Junior School – is located on the same site. Originally founded by royal charter on the Strand in 1829 as the junior department of King’s College London, the school relocated to Wimbledon in 1897 and separated constitutionally from the university in 1908.

The senior school is often listed as the top boys or co-educational school in the country in exam league tables and won the Sunday Times title of 'Top boys or co-ed independent school’ for the third consecutive year in 2020. In 2019, 94.9% of A level grades were A*/A/B and 96.3% of GCSE grades were A*/A/9/8/7. Sixth form students can also choose to take the International Baccalaureate (IB) instead of the A level – in the same year, the mean points per candidate were 40.75 out of 45 – whereas the international average point score is 33.2.

Pupils at King’s College School enjoy a fulfilling co-curricular programme, with extended lunch breaks on Tuesdays and Thursdays and no timetabled subjects on a Friday afternoon to allow pupils to enjoy new challenges. The school also has an extensive partnerships and outreach programme, consisting of the Wimbledon independent state-schools partnership, a range of arrangements with over 20 other maintained schools, and weekly projects within the local community.

Key information for King’s College School

  • Headteacher: Dr Anne Cotton (from September 2022)

  • Address: King’s College School, Southside, Wimbledon Common, London SW19 4TT

  • London borough: Merton

  • Admissions contact: Jen Crooke – [email protected], 020 8255 5329

  • Age range and gender: 11–18 (boys 11–18, girls 16–18)

  • Number of pupils: 1,190

  • Number of places in Year 7: 60 (external applicants join the boys moving up from King’s College Junior School)

  • Ratio of applicants to places: 8:1

  • Open day date: Wednesday 15th June and Thursday 29th September 2022.

  • Overview of selection procedure for Year 7 entry: Entrance exam, interview, headteacher’s reference and Year 5 school report

  • Registration opens: 21st April 2022 – apply on the school website

  • Registration closes: 31st October 2022

  • Assessment date for Year 7 entry: Saturday 3rd December 2022

  • Scholarship assessment date: November 2022 to January 2023 (dependent on the type of scholarship)

King’s College School fees and financial assistance

In 2022-23, the termly fees for pupils in Year 7 at King’s College School will be £7,310. This increases to £8,085 for pupils in Year 9 and above.

King’s College School is committed to ensuring that bright pupils from all backgrounds can access the school’s education. Means-tested bursaries are offered up to 100% discount on tuition fees and there is no income scale linked to bursary awards.

Scholarships are also available to candidates applying for 11 plus entry:

  • Academic Scholarships: £200–£400 per year

  • Music Scholarships: £400 per year and/or free tuition on two instruments

  • Sports Scholarships: £200–£400 per year

King’s College School term dates

The provisional term dates for King’s College School in 2023–24 are:

  • Autumn term: 1st September – 14th December 2023

  • Half term: 16th – 27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 9th January – 26th March 2024

  • Half term: 12th – 16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 17th April – 3rd July 2024

  • Half term: 27th – 31st May 2024

Admissions process for King’s College School

If you are interested in registering your son for 11 plus entry to King’s College School in 2023, you will need to complete the online registration form before Monday 31st October 2022. This will involve a non-refundable registration fee of £150 (although this can be waived if your son receives free school meals). The registration form will also require you to upload scans of your son’s passport, a passport-style photo of your son, his end of Year 5 school report and a brief outline of his interests and achievements.

If you are thinking of applying for a bursary for King’s College School, you will need to complete the separate bursary application form before Sunday 13th November 2022. Detailed information about this form, including FAQs, can be found on the school website.

All 11 plus candidates will then sit the entrance exam at King’s College School on Saturday 3rd December 2022. Boys who reach the qualifying standard in this test will be invited back to the school for an interview in January 2023. This is an opportunity for your son to discuss his interests and to give the member of staff conducting the interview an insight into his academic character, personal qualities, and ability to make an all-round contribution to King’s College School life.

Scholarship assessments are additional steps in the application process:

  • Academic Scholarships: all boys are automatically considered for an academic scholarship in the 11 plus entrance test – there is no separate application form for this.

  • Music Scholarships: to apply for a Music Scholarship at King’s College School, you will need to fill in the application form before 31st October 2022 and provide supporting evidence of your son’s musical ability. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to an audition in January 2023 (provided they have reached a required standard in the 11 plus entrance exam in December). Each candidate will need to perform two contrasting pieces on their main instrument and one piece on a second instrument (if they play more than one, or sing instead of playing a further instrument). Boys will also be asked to play scales at an appropriate level and will undergo sight-reading tests, aural tests and a short interview.

  • Sports Scholarships: to apply for a Sports Scholarship at King’s College School, you will need to fill in the application form before 31st October 2022 and provide supporting evidence of your son’s sporting ability. All boys who apply for a Sports Scholarship will be invited to an assessment morning in November 2022, where they will take part in a variety of skill and health-related fitness activities. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited back to the school for a more in-depth assessment day in December 2022, where they will play one of the school’s core sports (football, rugby, cricket, tennis and hockey).

Places in Year 7 will be awarded to boys who have an exemplary Year 5 school report and headteacher’s reference and demonstrate excellent performance in the entrance exam and interview. Parents will receive the outcome of their son’s application in mid-February 2023.

King’s College School entrance exam format

All applicants to Year 7 at King’s College School will take an 11 plus exam on Saturday 3rd December 2022. There are three papers:

  • English (approximately 1 hour 15 minutes): comprehension, grammar and a written composition

  • Maths (50 minutes): an assessment of the candidate’s understanding of the Key Stage 2 maths national curriculum

  • Verbal reasoning (time unknown): an assessment of the candidate’s understanding, awareness and aptitude of word-based problems, logical thinking and English language and vocabulary

You may find the following resources helpful to aid your son’s preparation for the King’s College School 11 plus exam:

How to help your child prepare for the selection process at King’s College School

King’s College School will publish sample papers for the 11 plus English and maths tests in autumn 2022. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the whole exam:

Build foundational knowledge. The 11 plus assesses a huge amount of content! Atom Nucleus takes your child through personalised learning journeys across the entire Key Stage 2 core curriculum (English, maths and science) and verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning, with over 90,000 teacher-created questions.

Preparation is key. Familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is absolutely essential. Access to quality, unlimited practice material ensures that your son will feel confident when tackling the test in December. Atom gives your child access to unlimited 11 plus mock tests that mirror the content, format and structure of common 11 plus questions:

Verbal reasoning learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Access to immediate support. When working through challenging topics, your son will need immediate clarity with any misconceptions so that he feels truly secure in every topic. Atom gives your child access to video tutorials, help sheets and examples for each question to help build confidence and competence across all areas of the Key Stage 2 core national curriculum.

Engage with his progress. Celebrate your son’s improvement in areas of challenge together. An accurate and ongoing assessment of his areas of strength and development is helpful. Atom’s Parent Portal offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress to help you prepare effectively, including targets achieved, a detailed breakdown of progress by subtopic and the ability to set custom practices to target his most challenging subtopics.

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Atom Learning can help

We have over 90,000 teacher-written practice questions, video tutorials, help sheets, live exam preparation courses and unlimited 11 plus mock tests. It’s our mission to help your child feel prepared and confident on exam day.

Begin your free 5-day trial of Nucleus today to unlock success in the classroom, entrance exams and more.

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We know how crucial this time is, so our team is on hand to support you and your family every step of the way. You can book a call with one of our Education Experts to ask any questions you might have about Year 7 entry to King’s College School:

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